Students give back to society through ‘Taste of Service’

Photo courtesy of Andra Kovacs

By experimenting with different publicity strategies, “Taste of Service” attracted more than 130 Linfield students, forcing registration to be closed earlier than expected.
Sophomores McKenzie Olson and Andra Kovacs co-organized the community service event in the heart of McMinnville on Sept. 15.
Kovacs recounts the struggles Change Corps had last year and compares them to the large turnout to the Taste of Service event.
The number of volunteers has more than doubled since last year’s event, allowing for full staff at each of the 13 sites.
The service sites included the Linfield Community Garden, Yamhill County Action Partnership, ReStore, Habitat for Humanity Woman’s Build, McMinnville Library, Yamhill Gospel Rescue Mission, Hearthland Sanctuary, Miller Woods, Cozine clean-up, Reading for All, Mac Downtown Association and Mac Senior Center.
At the various sites, student volunteers were able to make connections within the McMinnville community.
Kovacs explained the event as being especially beneficial for freshmen in getting accustomed to their surrounding community.
“It’s easy to feel lost living in a new place with all different people and different activities, and especially for people who became established in their old communities. It can be overwhelming to try and build new partnerships and relationships within the community,” Kovacs said via email. “Also, it’s very easy to fall into a pattern of remaining within the walls of Linfield and not experiencing what McMinnville has to offer, which is truly so much.”
Sophomore Megan Goudie had the opportunity to be involved in Taste of Service’s Habitat for Humanity Woman’s Build.
One of the first tasks she completed was preparing the site for a ground-blessing ceremony.
Her favorite part about building the home for the family was writing her name on a wooden board that she later nailed into a wall on the first floor.
She felt that through her efforts she was truly a part of the seven-member family that would soon call this foundation their home.
“It was fun to know that I was just a little piece of a bigger cause by knowing my name would be built into their home,” Goudie said.
What really hit home for Goudie and other “Taste of Service” volunteers was how gracious the service recipients were of the students’ time.
After experiencing her first “Taste of Service” Day, Goudie is confident that she will spend more of her Saturday mornings finishing the house.
Like Kovacs, Goudie believes serving those in the community is a great way for young adults to expand their horizons, starting with the surrounding community.
Junior Katheryn Corp (right), junior Shaun McNees (center) and sophomore Lyndsie Lemerande (left) help build houses through Linfield’s “Taste of Service” on Sept. 16.
Freshmen Lizeth Cruz (left) and Sarah Ketler (right) help build houses alongside others from Linfield who decided to volunteer at “Taste of Service” on Sept. 15. Students helped with services, such as Habitat for Humanity, Reading for All, Mac Senior Center and many others.

Sarah Mason
Staff writer

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